In broadcasting, we have very few fictional role models to look up to. There’s grittiness, a certain energy, in the cinematic portrayals of great print journalists. But broadcasters? Well, we’ve got Kent Brockman from “The Simpsons”. And Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman”. And Murphy Brown. (I vaguely recall that last lady being somewhat legit, but that show ended over a decade ago.)
It’s clear a fictional portrayal of broadcasters that we television junkies can call our own is long overdue. But I think, perhaps, it’s finally here. And it’s called “The Newsroom”. From the looks of the trailer, the characters are diverse, witty, and – dare I say – more than just one-dimensional teleprompter readers.
The upcoming HBO drama was created by Aaron Sorkin – the guy behind The West Wing, The Social Network and Moneyball – and documents the struggles (both professional and personal) of a cable news team. Jeff Daniels stars as the anchor, while the supporting cast is made up of some familiar faces like Emily Mortimer (“Lars and the Real Girl”, “30 Rock”), Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”), Sam Waterston (“Law & Order”) and canuck Alison Pill (“Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World”, “Midnight in Paris”).
If the trailer alone isn’t enough to get you pumped for the show’s pilot, let me remind you that this new series is coming after a wave of HBO classics. This is the station that brought the world “The Sopranos” and “The Wire”, and paved the way for other cable station classics like AMC’s “Mad Men”. They’ve got a proven track record for making quality television – and unlike Ron Burgundy, the characters on “Newsroom” seem to be aiming for the same. I, for one, can’t wait to watch it all play out on screen – and get a weekly break from thinking about the foibles of my own newsroom.